The Lessons of the Storyteller: Three Things Challenge

Karla sat on her front porch waiting for the storyteller to appear. The old woman always wore a sweater embroidered with books. She came each Tuesday afternoon, seemingly out of nowhere, taking up residence in the entrance to a nearby field.

The storyteller always had an inviting smile, drawing the children and their parents from their chaotic lives to hear a story that would help bring balance and order into their loves. Karla would strain to see if the storyteller had arrived, and when she saw her, she would gleefully scream for her mother. “She’s here, Mama. Come on!”

Her mother would come rushing out of the house, just as excited to hear the storyteller as was Karla. She had been listening to the stories from the old woman since she was Karla’s age, and she never tired of the woman’s soft but commanding voice for the few minutes when she could be a child again.

Today, her story is about an elf named Corey who wanted to draw beautiful art, but was told that such high pursuits were only for humans. The other elves laughed at his dream, mocking him and calling him names, such as Perticasso or Renwalrus. But, Corey kept painting his creations, refusing to give up his dreams.

One day, a man named Jim entered the woods where Corey lived, looking for a place to rest. He laid down next to a tree with snarled roots, and he promptly fell asleep. When he awakened, he accidentally placed his hand into a hole, and as he sought to free his hand, he felt something underneath his fingers.

He started digging to discover what was under the ground, and to his amazement, he found a treasure trove of beautiful paintings of humans going about their daily lives. What perception the artist had on the emotions of human beings, and such a way with colors! Why were such creations hidden underground?

Jim was so engrossed in looking at the paintings that he did not hear Corey approach. The first he knew that he was not alone was when Corey bravely jumped on his back, attempting to save his “babies” from this human. Jim quite easily shook Corey off, and then asked him if he were the artist.

Corey, thinking the paintings weren’t good, for everyone knew that only humans could paint beautiful art, shyly acknowledged that he had painted the scenes. Jim congratulated Corey on his achievement, and he suggested that Corey allow him to serve as his agent, arranging to display the paintings.

Corey was amazed that Jim thought that his art had value and worth. He agreed to let Jim represent him in the human realm, for elves were not seen as the equals of humans, and, therefore, not allowed in their presence.

So, Corey was never seen by the public. He was referred to as the Shy Painter, but if you visit any of the major museums in the world, you will find his paintings among the works of other Impressionist painters, such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, Berthe Morisot, and Mary Cassatt. He never achieved fame in the usual sense, but he had peace, and he came to be respected by his fellow elves.

When the story ended, the old storyteller looked at each child and adult with such intensity, as if she were peering into their souls. She said, “Don’t allow the disbelief of others to rob the world of your God-given talents! Remember this: your gifts are meant to profit the world, not you.”

As Karla and he mother walked home, she turned around to look at the storyteller, who winked at her. Karla never found out where the storyteller came from, and it didn’t really matter.

Fictional story written for The Three Things Challenge from the Humble Wordsmith, January 29, 2019: story, elf, art. Fandango prompt is Tree. Ragtag prompt is Balance. Word of the Challenge is Create. Daily Addictions prompt is Entrance. Your Daily Prompt is Inviting.

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